Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is vowing to shareholders that his company’s heavy investment in Large Language Models (LLMs) and Generative AI is going to “transform and improve virtually every customer experience.”

Jassy made the declaration in his newly published 2022 letter to shareholders, in which he struck a cautious but optimistic tone for Amazon’s future business dealings and called last year “one of the harder macroeconomic years in recent memory.”

“I could write an entire letter on LLMs and Generative AI as I think they will be that transformative, but I’ll leave that for a future letter,” Jassy said. “Let’s just say that LLMs and Generative AI are going to be a big deal for customers, our shareholders, and Amazon.”

Generative AI and LLMs are artificial intelligence technologies that scan various kinds of data to create content.


Amazon CEO Andy Jassy

Andy Jassy, shown here in November 2022, has published his latest letter to shareholders. (Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New York Times / Getty Images)

Jassy wrote that “Amazon has been using machine learning extensively for 25 years, employing it in everything from personalized ecommerce recommendations, to fulfillment center pick paths, to drones for Prime Air, to Alexa, to the many machine learning services AWS offers (where AWS has the broadest machine learning functionality and customer base of any cloud provider).”

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“More recently, a newer form of machine learning, called Generative AI, has burst onto the scene and promises to significantly accelerate machine learning adoption. Generative AI is based on very Large Language Models (trained on up to hundreds of billions of parameters, and growing), across expansive datasets, and has radically general and broad recall and learning capabilities,” he continued.


The logo of the U.S. online retail giant Amazon on a New York distribution center

Jassy said in the letter that Amazon has had to shutter certain businesses in the last year. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“We have been working on our own LLMs for a while now, believe it will transform and improve virtually every customer experience, and will continue to invest substantially in these models across all of our consumer, seller, brand, and creator experiences,” he added. “Additionally, as we’ve done for years in AWS, we’re democratizing this technology so companies of all sizes can leverage Generative AI.”

Jassy also reflected on what he described as an “unusual number of simultaneous challenges” in 2022.

“Over the last several months, we took a deep look across the company, business by business, invention by invention, and asked ourselves whether we had conviction about each initiative’s long-term potential to drive enough revenue, operating income, free cash flow, and return on invested capital,” he said. “In some cases, it led to us shuttering certain businesses.”

Amazon boxes

Jassy struck a cautious but optimistic tone for Amazon’s future business dealings. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“For instance, we stopped pursuing physical store concepts like our Bookstores and 4 Star stores, closed our Amazon Fabric and Amazon Care efforts, and moved on from some newer devices where we didn’t see a path to meaningful returns,” he added.

“There are a number of other changes that we’ve made over the last several months to streamline our overall costs, and like most leadership teams, we’ll continue to evaluate what we’re seeing in our business and proceed adaptively,” Jassy wrote.